The former president, 93, sat in his wheelchair next to Barbara Bush’s closed casket at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, on Friday, one day before her invitation-only funeral.
A touching photograph of the Bush patriarch depicted him gazing at the former first lady’s metallic casket which was decorated with pink, yellow and purple flowers.
Bush’s daughter, Dorothy, stood by her father with her hand on his shoulder as she also gazed upon her mother’s casket.
Despite it being a sad time, Bush took delight in greeting small children in the procession of people paying their respects to him and his late wife, as seen in a photo captured by his spokesman Jim McGrath on Twitter.
Thousands of people visited the church on Friday, with many of them wearing pearls in a nod to the former first lady’s signature accessory. She died at the age of 92 on Tuesday.
Her casket was brought to the church on Friday morning and people began lining up early at the nearby Second Baptist Church to undergo a security screening before being taken to St. Martin’s for the viewing, according to Click2Houston.
RELATED VIDEO: George H.W. Bush Held His Dying Wife’s Hand All Day Before She Passed Away: ‘He Is Broken-Hearted’
The funeral will be attended by numerous notables, including Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack and Michelle Obama, and the former first lady’s family, including former President George W. Bush, and wife Laura. President Donald Trump will not attend the funeral, in order to “avoid disruptions,” but First Lady Melania Trump will attend as a representative of the White House.
The former first lady selected three people to deliver eulogies at Saturday’s funeral: son Jeb Bush, friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham.
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The Bush family matriarch was widely praised for her sharp wit and devotion to her family, including to her “broken-hearted” husband, who held his dying’s wife hand as she slipped away Tuesday.
But the former president assured the public to “cross the Bushes off your worry list” after her death, noting that “we have faith she is heaven, and we know life will go on — as she would have it.”